IN A RAID WITH THE FIFTH
By SAMUEL HARRIS
Late 1st Lieutenant Co. A 5th Mich. Cavalry
With Compliments of
SAMUEL HARRIS & CO.
Machinists' and Manufacturers'
TOOLS AND SUPPLIES
114 and 116 No. Clinton St. CHICAGO
Late Fir«t Lieutenant Company A , Fifth Michigan Cavalry
Born September 15th. 1836
IN A RAID WITH THE FIFTH MICHIGAN
In the spring of 1863 to- clear the country east of
the Blue Ridge Mountains as far south as Ashby's
Cap of Rebels.
The first day we marched about fifty miles and
camped near a small village called Upperville. The
next morning we passed through this village and about
ten miles beyond, before the road began the ascent to
the gap. Here we halted a few moments when I was
ordered to take about fifty men of my company and
capture the gap. Away we went up the hill. Soon
shots were fired at us from the hills on both sides, but
their shots all went over us. In the gap was about
a dozen houses. One shot came from a house on our
left and went through the left hand of Lieutenant
George N. Butchers who was riding close to my side.
I halted the column and hollered as loud as I could,
"If another shot comes from a house for the boys to
turn and fire into the house nearest them." Not an-
other shot was fired out of the house.
Soon after this, word was passed up from the
rear to look back. There was a man riding as fast
as he could and motioning me to halt. As we came
up he gave me an order to come back and join the
regiment. When I got back I found that Col. Free-
man Norvall was drunk and that the stafif officers
had put him in an ambulance. To me it had every
appearance that he had been invited to take a drink
from a bottle that had been badly drugged on purpose
of getting a charge against him. (He resigned when
he got back to camp.)
We countermarched back towards our old camp.
After marching about five miles the column halted.
An orderly came back to me with orders to come to
the front with my company. I gave orders to march
and we started on the run coming up to Lt. CoL Gould.
I asked what orders. He answered, ''Rebels ahead,
go for them." We dashed on ahead and soon came
to a full company standing in the road with their cap-
tain in command which looked very singular to me.
I found out that the captain that stood at the top
of the hill when he saw a few Rebs ahead of him had
halted and sent word back to Colonel Gould, "Rebels
ahead, what shall I do?" He was told to resign or
he would be dismissed for cowardice.
After passing this company I came to the top of
a slight decline. At the bottom ran quite a stream
from the mountain and on the other side was a road
leading towards the hills. I saw a guard of fifteen or
twenty rebs, evidently guarding a wagon.
Away we went after them. Some of the guards
rode off into the woods and escaped. The wagon and
about half a dozen of the guards kept on to a big
plantation about a mile and a half.
I sent some of my men into a big barn and took
several to a big straw stack and told them to ride
around the stack and run their sabers into it up to the
hilt. Soon a man hollered out, ''Don't run your saber
in anymore, I'll come out." Soon one of the men
called out that he had struck something hard. Several
jumped off their horses and dug out a big chest well
bound around with iron. Some of our men carried
an axe with them and soon broke the cover. The
chest was filled with Confederate money, said to be
three millions of dollars. I had the boys pass me up
a hand full and called all of the boys together and
gave them each a lot.
I went back to the regiment. Riding up to the
Colonel I presented the Reb quartermaster and three
or four other prisoners and several thousand dollars
of Rebel money. He congratulated me and my suc-
We continued the march for some miles to a plan-
tation owned by General Asa Rogers who with his
family had spent several summers with my mother's
family in Vermont. I went to the Colonel and told
him of the Rogers and asked him to place a guard
over the house and all private property. I slept on
a pile of hay in a barn. In the morning I went to the
house and told the General who I was, and that his
house and all his private property had been guarded
We were soon on the march for our old camp.
About noon there came up a very bad snow storm.
W'e continued on for about five miles. Beyond the
Fairfax court house where we camped for the night.
Soon tw^o sutlers came out of a camp near our lines
and stopped near my company. Soon a Corporal said
they were overcharging the boys. He said if they
don't stop it, the boys will go for them. I told him
to be careful. Soon I heard a crash and loud holler-
ing. Some of the boys said that someone had tipped
over their wagon and spilled all their pies and cakes.
Pretty soon there were no pies or cakes to be found.
Soon a big fat Major who was always brave when
there were no Reb bullets flying about, came to where
I was lying and said he believed I had set my men on
the sutlers. He would prefer charges against me.
I told him to do his best. Soon the storm blew over.
I felt my blanket Ufted up. Not a word was said but
I knew something was left there. I felt and found a
pie and several cakes. Maybe you think I didn't eat
them, for I was hungry.
When we got back to camp I never heard any-
thing about charges.
Press of ADOLPH SELZ, Chicago